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Will Women Be Women? Analyzing the Gender Difference among Financial Experts

Authors

  • Daniela Beckmann,

    1. Leibniz Universität Hannover, Department of Economics, Königsworther Platz 1, D-30167 Hannover, Germany
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  • Lukas Menkhoff

    1. Leibniz Universität Hannover, Department of Economics, Königsworther Platz 1, D-30167 Hannover, Germany
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    • *Daniela Beckmann, Lukas Menkhoff, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Department of Economics, Königsworther Platz 1, D-30167 Hannover, Germany, beckmann@gif.uni-hannover.de, menkhoff@gif.uni-hannover.de. We very much appreciate the contributions made by the fund managers who were available for interviews and took time to respond to the survey. We thank the Investment Management Associations in Germany, Italy, and Thailand for the provision of indispensable recommendation letters. Furthermore, we are grateful to Torben Lütje, Michael Melvin, Luca Rebeggiani, Maik Schmeling and Ulrich Schmidt in helping us to conduct the survey and giving comments, and we thank two anonymous referees for their support. Last but not least, financial support by the Volkswagen Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.


SUMMARY

There are robust gender differences in the domains of risk taking, overconfidence and competition behavior. However, as expertise tends to level these differences, we ask whether financial experts still show gender dissimilarities in their domains of decision making? We analyze survey responses of 649 fund managers in the U.S., Germany, Italy and Thailand, and find that female fund managers tend to behave as expected from gender studies: they are more risk averse and shy away from competition in the tournament scenario. The expected lower degree of overconfidence by women is yet so small that it becomes insignificant in fund management.

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